Monday, December 6

Critical and Structural Theory

This is my brief distraction from the paper I am writing at the end of my first term at Grad School.  It has been a huge intellectual learning curve and I am loving every minute my brain takes on the challenge to advance itself.  To be honest, not nearly as physically, emotionally or psychologically taxing as teaching Division 2 in Elementary School, but my level of stress will probably escalate when I begin actually writing my thesis next term.

In the meantime I have been reading about different methodologies of research.  For my part, I am currently having an intellectual crush on Critical Theory and Structural Feminism (no surprise in the latter).  While writing the larger portion of my paper, I am to dive into the world of various methodologies and methods of research, pick the ones that most match my topic of choice, then describe how they will all fit together.

In reading a certain book I came across a quote that I do not want to forget:

Politics is pervasive,
Language is constitutive, 
Truth is provisional,
Meaning is contingent,
Human nature is a myth.

Summarized by Peter Barry (2009, p. 35) in his book Beginning Theory (which has be updated and re-printed three times), he summarizes Critical Theory into these statements to prepare the reader for the meat of the book: Literary and Cultural Theory.  Structural theory (of which I am also learning) purports that meaning is not inherent in a word or in language, but that these meanings are brought to the text from the outside structures by the reader, which are culturally, morally and politically biased.  As my paper is based on Canadian cultural representations created through text and image for international tourists, so these methodologies of research will be of great use as I return to my writing.  So far, lovin' it!

Off to read more!

Barry, P. (2009).  Beginning Theory: An introduction to literary and cultural theory.  Manchester: Manchester University Press.

1 comment:

  1. Tonia, your work sounds exciting and wonderful. Give me back 40 years and I will go to theorizing with you. In any case, I can listen and read. So happy that the Peg is working for you.